Tag Archives: bloggers

MUM I’M PROUD OF YOU #Madblogawards

1 Oct

It was a cold rainy day, sat in the nail shop I asked myself “Do I feel up to this?” I wasn’t referring to my nails but what lay ahead after that! I needed to rush back home, shower, do hair and makeup before finally squeezing myself into my magic underwear and somehow wiggling my legs into my tights without laddering them with what was soon to be my new nails! Then there was the dress, the one I’d only just brought following a disaster with the last (disaster being the sudden realisation that it made me look like a beach whale). This one was short, I hadn’t done short in I don’t know how long! Even with tights I was already feeling a tad self-conscious and I didn’t even have the thing on yet.

I needed to get my party head on and fast. Don’t get me wrong its not that I wasn’t looking forward to the Mad Blog Awards, I really was! I was just a little drained and maybe feeling a little sorry for myself.

Nails done I’m now stood at the bus stop. Time is ticking by and I seriously need to get my butt in gear! Having waited 15 minutes for my bus to come along, it stops, the driver looks at me but doesn’t open the doors… He then proceeds to just drive off like I’m not even stood there in the rain like a prat. Two seconds later what happens, yeah along comes a double-decker bus. Not my double-decker ‘I’m waiting on one of those single decker buses that drive all round the houses making what should be a five minute Journey a 30 minute one instead! This double-decker is racing up the road, his in a rush like me, I could do with this guy driving my bus. Then something crap happened… Splash… FFS, I know resembled a drowned rat! As I stand like a wet lemon, I hear the giggles of the over excitable teens stood behind me. I tell myself he didn’t do it on purpose… But really deep down I knew he did! Could things really get any worse?

Once home and finally done up like a girl with a place to be, I receive a phone call just as I’m about to leave through the front door. As I’m stood explaining my rubbish day to my friend who’s called to wish me luck for the awards, I suddenly realise I’ve missed my train. “It’s a sign, I’m not meant to go” I moan. But being reminded things could only get better I loaded my 5 inch shoes in my bag at speed then slipped on my comfortable flats. I then ran for it, over the road, through the park to the station while continuously yanking down my dress in a desperate bid not to flash my magic granny knickers in the process.

Thankfully I didn’t get lost and as I stopped on the street corner to slip on my heels It suddenly hit me that by doing what I was doing where I was doing it, dressed as I was, one may mistake me as a lady of the night. Walking at speed (and not very well may I add) I escaped into the comfort of the Rassiden Edwardian Hotel the venue of this years Mad Blog Awards.

Hot, messy and out of breath I arrived just in time. My fellow finalist were just about to take there places at the table. Having quickly adjusted the magic knickers, reapplied the lippy and made myself that bit more presentable in the toilets, I then took my place at table number 2 which was filled with some very talented ladies with a great view of the stage.

Was I nervous? No, not up in till now I wasn’t! I really hadn’t the time to be! I just remember feeling relieved to have finally made it. I felt as if My mood was instantly lifted by the wonderful company I had around me. I was sat next to the lovely and talented Luschka (Diary of a first child) as well as the lovely Jen from Mum in the mad in the madhouse , Mika from All baby advice, Kate (WitWitWoo) and a few others (all equally as lovely). The atmosphere was wonderful and all finalist were in high spirits.

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The room looked amazing and it was obvious how much hard work the lovely Sally Whittle, Jen Walshaw and others from the mads had put into making this an event to remember. Everything had been perfectly personalised around each and every blogger in the room. Two large LCDs showed pictures of us bloggers and our families. In between each slide, live tweets were shown (and as the wine flowed the spelling mistakes grew). Even the tables were decorated with confetti made from tiny snippets of our blog headers.

Despite each category having its own sponsor we wasn’t bombarded with advertisements! The awards were very much a social event that did an amazing job to celebrate the brilliance that are parent bloggers. How awesome is that!

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The 3 course meal was of course Devine… The dessert however was in a league of it own…. Amazing. The wine was flowing around the table and for a woman who drinks little (maybe the odd glass of white every now and then) I did really managed to put some away. I was feeling a little giggly and I did almost use the men’s toilets by mistake (the greeting of a man leaving the cubical was a good indication that I was in the wrong place). But luckily I wasn’t to merry as I was about to receive a little shock when my name was called out and I was announced as the winning blogger of the mads most inspiring blogger for 2012.

20121001-061742.jpgA Meal fit for a finalist and I cleaned the plates

What I’m about to say may make you roll your eyes while muttering the words, “they all say that” but honestly, it was a shock! I really didn’t think I’d win. I was up against some of the best blogs in the blogosphere and the fact I’m subscribed to a few of these blogs meaning every new post they publish gets ping to my inbox just made me doubt myself even more so. Honestly who wants to be up against the much loved mammywoo or the very talented but equally as lovely Wendy from Savette Gazette? Yep …. I rest my case.

20121001-062635.jpgYay the award

You may roll your eyes once more when I tell you I wasn’t pimping my blog 24/7! I made a video that I attached to a blog post. This didn’t have an excessive amount of hits! I also sent out some tweets… I honestly only sent a small amount this year. Of course I sent out a few shouts on my Facebook page, but again this was just a few. What made me laugh this year was how members of the page had replied to say they had already voted for me. Knowing you have such a supportive readership is heartwarming. I guess the only other thing I did was appear in the local paper, just as I had the previous year. I didn’t want to become a spammer, end up driving my readers and followers nuts. My point is that winning without super pimping is possible and this left me feeling proud of myself, shocked but very proud.

As I stood up to collect my award I suddenly thought “Shit… What am I going to say?” I can speak to whole rooms of people in an advocate, teacher-like fashion. When it comes to advising you on education law or the latest autism campaigns its programmed into me… It’s what I do! But accepting an award is different and just like last year I felt a bit of a tit with nothing to say. With white wine in the blood stream giving me a needed kick up the backside I thanked everybody and stated that if it wasn’t for my readers I wouldn’t be able to raise such awareness for autism! With that I did a runner with my award and a lovely bottle of bubbles presented to me by the lovely sponsor for crazy soap.

Back at my table, sat back down I watched some more fabulous bloggers go up and collect their awards I felt so honoured to be part of it all.

My 2012 Mads highlights: speaking to my little man on the phone…

LM: “Mum I saw it on twitter, you won”
Me: “I know, great isn’t it”
LM: “I’m proud of you mum”
Me “You are?”
LM “You inspire people mum, you inspire me”
Me: “That’s a really lovely thing to say, thank you!”
LM “I have water in my eyes as I’m happy you won”
Me: “I have water in my eyes too, because you do”

When we have this type of conversation it’s magical, rare but magical. He really was happy I’d won! He took the award and polished it and put it next to last years on my dresser. He is now blogging himself… Maybe he will one day collect his very own award to add to the collection.

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Other highlights:

Kerry Aka Multiple Mummy getting the recognition she deserves for her amazing blogs. And the emotional speech from Emma and multiple dad when collecting her awards. And as Emma states… One is actually half hers ūüôā Emma and Kerry both write Science sparks.

Messaging my dad to tell him Myleene Klass was at the awards… Evil laugh (he kinda fancies the arse off her)!

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Thank you to Sally… Your an amazing woman. Not forgetting the lovely Jen and others who helped make the awards really enjoyable for all.

My lovely readers, all those who nominated and voted for me… I could t do what I do without you all.

The lovely Crazy Soap for being a lovely sponsor from start to finish. I’m sure my fellow inspiring finalist would agree.

Littlewoods, I may not have wore the dress you sent but you sent it so quickly and even offered to send me another on the actual day of the awards. If I hadn’t found something in time it’s quite likely that you would have saved the day.

My family and friends for supporting me.

And most importantly, my three beautiful children both with and without Aspergers… You all inspire me to write and do what I do. So, mummy sends you a million hugs and kisses from the blog…. I love you.

Mad Bloggers Aboard A Luxurious Yacht

13 Sep

Things have been so busy these past few months that I haven’t had the opportunity to tell you all about a fabulous day out I was treated to back in August.

As some may know I won a Mad Blog award back in 2011 for the Most inspiring blog! This year I’m really excited at the fact I’m once more a finalist and will be heading to central London at the end of this month for a lavish awards ceremony.

Due to the fact I’m a finalist in this years awards, I received a lovely invitation from ‘HomeAway‘ sponsors of this years travel category.This invite was an invitation to attend a fabulous day aboard a luxurious yacht…. Yes yacht!

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Now, before you ask, I’m not a finalist in the travel category but instead the most inspirational, though I was actually nominated for travel I didn’t quite make the cut.

Of course my reaction to this nomination was one of laughter! I wondered to myself “who ever put me up for that?” You see, travelling is something I don’t do well with three kids in toll, especially when on is on the autism spectrum. Most of our tales of travel, consists of meltdowns and on my part… breakdowns!

So, you maybe wondering why I was invited to board this luxury yacht docked at the beautiful St Katharine’s dock near Tower Bridge? I know I did! Well, turns out that those lovely lot at HomeAway wanted to share the love and given they had acquired an entire yacht for a weekend, they totally wanted to make the most of it! I guess given that there is only 5 finalist per category, it made sense to invite a few more.

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I didn’t need asking twice, I actually juggled some plans in-order to ensure my attendance. I only had to look at the images to know this was a not to be missed opportunity. I’m your average mum of three who just doesn’t get invited aboard a luxurious yacht for a barbecue. Would this opportunity arise ever again? Most likely not, that is unless I win the lottery!

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I was really pleased that I was allowed to take my youngest Harley. The two older children had plans with their father and I was struggling to find a babysitter.

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The day arrived and despite having to get there with a toddler in a pushchair on the crappy London Underground, I was actually early! If you know me then you’ll understand why I had to slip that in! Was I blown away but this dreamy yacht? Hell yes, it was simply stunning.

At first I did worry the toddler would walk about touching things he shouldn’t. At one point I had this terrible vision of him lobbing people’s belongings overboard just to gain the satisfaction of hearing it go plonk (when your child has a thing about throwing everything down the toilet you can’t blame one for thinking it)! Luckily there was no such dramas and if anything I was amazed at how well behaved my little guy was. Harley loved our time aboard the yacht especially all the attention he got given.

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It was lovely to meet the HomeAway team and see some of my fellow bloggers and award finalist. Everyone was in high spirits, what with the beautiful weather, a delicious barbecue, strawberry and champers and a steady serving of pimms.

We all sat out on the top deck chatting as the sun went down. I stayed much longer than I had first planned and really felt relaxed and comfortable in everybody’s company.

It was a spectacular day aboard a spectacular yacht and I for one won’t forget it in a hurry.

Thanks to both the Mad Blog Awards and HomeAway for making it happen.

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Gearing up for Britmums Live 2012

21 Jun

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Can you believe it, tomorrow is the big day… It’s Britmums Live and the BiB awards.

This week has gone by super fast and now I’m in a bit of a state trying to get myself ready (I’m not the most organised of bloggers). I realised yesterday that my cards haven’t arrived, so have been busy making my own only to realise I have no ink in my printer and no card to print on.

This means that early tomorrow morning following a trip to the Docters with my youngest, I’ll be doing a super mad dash to PC World before getting back home, printing my cards, cutting them out and finally setting off to my destination Travelodge on the city road where I’ve paid for early checkin. Lucky I’m only located in South London or I’d be a lot more nervious than I am now.

Talking of being disorganised, I still haven’t decided what I’m wearing. I did have one outfit in mind then suddenly remembered that this is a two day event so after preparing and making the kids dinner I’ll be dishing through the wardrobe for a couple of outfits ( sadly I’m having a fat day which never seems to help when trying on clothes)! I hear it’s going to rain so wellies and a rain mac sound much more appropriate.

With all this on the agenda, am I looking forward to tomorrow? Hell yes, very much so!

As some may know, I’m a finalist in the BiB awards for the most inspiring blog and the winners will be announced tomorrow night. There is some hot competition all being other great blogs I read so even if I don’t win I know I would have lost to a brilliant blogger worth losing to (if that makes sense). I’m just really thankful to have got this far.

I love how the BiBs will be held in conjunction with the Britmums Live conference and I just can’t wait to meet up with all my favourite bloggers, some I’ve met before and others i’m yet to engage with in the real world.

The schedule for this years event sounds awesome and I’m really looking forward to a number of the workshops and some of the speakers listed for this years event.

This isn’t my first big conference, I was lucky enough to win a ticket and obtain a sponsor for last years Cybermummy. Though despite having been blogging for a number of years, I knew very few parent bloggers and may have resembled something of a loner lol!

I have been lucky enough to meet many parent bloggers since then so hopefully this year won’t be the same. That’s why I think the Britmums Butterflies Is an awesome idea for any bloggers that feel like I did last year.

I’ve also bagged myself a lovely sponsor this year, Orchard Toys who have kindly covered my cost, so thank you guys.

Well, that’s enough from me, as you can see I have lots to organise, so I’ll best get on with it.

If your attend Britmums Live tomorrow then I will see you all there.

My Illustration for The New World Colour Collection Rainbow Cookbook

20 Mar

For those that know me, I mean really know me, it will come as no surprise when I tell you about a project I’ve been working on, one that has nothing to do with special educational needs, writing or even that of autism, but one that involves me doing something else I love.

I’ve actually been commissioned to create an illustration that is set to feature in an online Rainbow cookbook.

I was really excited to be invited to get involved and couldn’t wait to get designing.

The Rainbow cook book is one of them really special ideas, involving 7 food bloggers who are a dab head in the kitchen and 7 more who are keen illustrators (either by trade of hobby). Both those providing a recipe and those set to work on illustrations were appointed a colour taken from the rainbow. Once food bloggers had created their recipes they were passed on to us along with the colour we had been appointed!

The recipe I was appointed was Meatloaf Cupcakes with Roasted Beetroot Mash, by Mike at Mikes Baking. The colour we had been appointed was Purple.

I also received a photograph of Mikes finished recipe (see the above) to help me on my mission to create the perfect illustration.

Admittedly, I first panicked, wondering if I could possibly do this fantastic recipe proud, lets not forget this is a commissioned piece so I needed to get it right! I was given a period of two weeks and a deadline of the 23rd March 2012 (Yes, I hate deadlines). Thankfully, I finished ahead of schedule, finally finishing this morning. I sent it off with bated breath and yes, they loved it.

So, here it is, my illustration for the

Appliances Online New world Colours Collection Rainbow Cook Book

So, what do you think? For the full recipe and steps needed to create this spectacular, pop over and check it out at Mikes Baking

Help Me Reveal The Bigger Picture This World Autism Day

6 Mar

Mild, what do you think off when you hear the word “Mild”?

A mild curry, a mild headache, a touch of man flu (or so some call it)!

Maybe you think of a mild case of chickenpox or a mild amount of pain?

Now, let me ask you,
“When you see a child of… let’s say 11 years old, throwing himself¬†¬†aggressively around the local supermarket, red, hot and flushed,¬†¬†shouting & screaming obscenities, refusing to walk, with no apparent¬†¬†sense of danger, what do you think? Does the word “Mild” come to mind?

I didn’t think so!

If you were 100% truthful with yourself, my guess is, challenging,¬†spoilt, dragged up, brat, may have come to mind! Although this is¬†usually¬† never truth, I’m not about to jump into a written description¬†on the worlds misconceptions or that of the importance of ignorance¬†¬†(intentional or otherwise). I’ve done plenty of this lately. I will¬†however agree that the word “Mild” is not one I’d chose to describe¬†the above situation!

When you have a child with Aspergers Syndrome, who has displayed such¬†¬†behaviours..more than once, you deal with it, though when you turn¬†to another and inform them of your child’s diagnosis, for that person¬†to turn around and refer to it as “Mild” you can’t help but want to¬†¬†
SCREAM…

This misconception has just got way out of hand. Whoever chose to¬†describe Aspergers as Mild was basically of their trolley! You see¬†Aspergers is only described in such a way as to highlight the fact¬†there is normally no intellectual difficulties, however social¬†difficulties are just as pervasive as those children with what some¬†may refer to as “Classic Autism the difference being that those¬†children with a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome are normally fully¬†aware of their differences, some even referring to themselves as not¬†“Normal” as has my own child.


Those with Aspergers are not oblivious to the world around them… OK,¬†¬†maybe while engaged in their “Special Interest” but other than this,¬†the prospect that the child with Aspergers wants to engage with peers,¬†having friendships like yours or mine, is always normally the case!¬†The sheer frustration at not being able to always make these¬†friendships or in many cases, keep them, is often too much for the¬†child, hence the reason, so many children with aspergers¬†find¬†themselves diagnosed with depression or some type of anxiety related¬†illness!

Now, I ask you again..”Does the word “Mild” spring to mind when you think of the above¬†¬†
explanation¬†It’s not a competition, I’m in no way even comparing the different¬†types of autism, it’s a spectrum, where no two cases are ever the¬†same! I’m just merely pointing out that the term mild is not actually¬†a suitable one, as it is of course, taken out of context, leaving¬†¬†
others (even teachers, and other professionals) expecting more than¬†maybe they should from a child with Aspergers. It’s my belief, and¬†that of many others, that this is likely the reasons behind¬†high¬†school exclusion rates, placement breakdowns in mainstream schools and¬†¬†
so forth. My child is very literal, yet despite his previous school’s¬†awareness of this, metaphors were continuously used by staff, during¬†conversations with my child! He was just expected to get these quirky¬†little phases, such as “Has the cat got your tongue” or “The teacher¬†can’t hold your hand forever” so, of course being adamant that he¬†never holds the teachers hand, he quite rightly informs the head¬†teacher, to which he is ordered to remove his sarcastic tone, that or¬†stop being thick!

The child with Aspergers, has to continuously adjust ones normal behaviour, something they are most uncomfortable with, to fit neatly into the life, that society expects and accepts.

Its common for many diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome, to receive a¬†late diagnosis! This is true, but only due to the signs being¬†suppressed by the child in question, as they either keep themselves to¬†themselves, blending into the background or speak to one or two¬†children, though not actually forming friendly relationships with¬†them, yet teachers commonly mistake this as healthy peer relationships. What then will often happen, is once that child returns to the¬†safety net of home, the bubble pops and like dynamite they explode¬†letting go of a whole days bottled up frustration, becoming sometimes¬†uncontrollable! Of course the parents reports such goings on, yet they¬†are looked upon as one sided concerns! Teachers mainly assume the¬†issues must be down to some problem in the home, why wouldn’t they considering the lack of¬†challenging behaviour within school? This was certainly the case with¬†Little man!

Suddenly something changes! As the child grows older, incurring a¬†stronger urge for peer interaction, a low threshold for dealing with¬†sensory inputs and lack of understanding of the social rules, Suddenly¬†a flip in the childs behaviour may occur, one that to the school is¬†that of a sudden change, to you, the parent…it’s been a long time¬†coming!

The child may now stand out that bit more, maybe seen as a bit of a social odd ball as he goes about trying to socialise, they may then become targeted by the bullies! Sadly, due to the childs lack of social understanding, especially around the issue of friends, they may well find themselves as a target without even knowing it.  
Little man is, once more a prime example of this….. He was seen by¬†other children to be a child who would easily break social rules (only¬†due to the fact he was unaware of there boundaries)! As a result, when¬†the bullies befriended him, the popular kids, he was proud to finally¬†have a group of friends.This started during his fourth year of¬†primary school and by the end of that year he had already undergone an¬†obscene amount of formal exclusions and when he was in, he was being¬†taught in isolation, heartbreaking, referred to by staff as a health¬†and safety risk! As for the bullies who he mistakenly was proud to¬†name his friends, these would do a number of horrible things, then¬†stand back and laugh as little man got into trouble. An example would be, getting him to slap a¬†teacher around the back of the head with an orange glove, he believed¬†it to be OK, as it was just a game, “The Tango Game” surly the teacher¬†would know this right? You can only imagine the reaction of that¬†teacher! Worse, her unexpected reaction would shock little man in such¬†a way, it would trigger more challenging behaviour, most failed to¬†make the connection between the two and of course his education and¬†self-esteem suffered greatly. As his mother, I watched him slowly¬†putting the pieces together, the children not knocking when they¬†claimed they would, his invite to a party becoming lost in the post,¬†the fact they were suggesting he do things that he was now learning¬†were not acceptable due to the repeated reactions these caused! This¬†is the point when your child starts to accept that his actually¬†friendless, being used and laughed at too! You, the parent watch as¬†your heart breaks, you ask yourself, maybe it would have been better¬†if he never saw the light, he continued thinking peers were his friends.

I hear hundreds of horror stories mainly consisting of discrimination¬†and misconceptions. Like my own child, the child is never allowed on¬†school trips, coincidentally excluded on the day of a trip or that when OFSTED visited school. What was worse was those times he was sent to work in isolation, mother and child completely in the dark¬†that a trip ever existed… well, that’s in till some other mother¬†mentions it! You hear her words, you play along, yet inside your¬†crying,you’re screaming, rage ripping your insides to pieces. Even¬†worse your child finds out, unable to cope with more rejection so he hurts himself by¬†throwing himself into brick walls, smashing his head, scratching his¬†arms drawing blood, or worse still… threatening to stab¬†himself!

Please, I ask you once again…

Would you use the term “Mild” in association with any of that above?¬†Would you?

Myself nor my son, and countless other families like mine, are not asking for your¬†sympathy, your kind words, your half smiles as we catch one another’s¬†eye across a crowded playground, though those things are incredibly¬†thoughtful, we need so much more than this to make a difference!

We, need you to take just a few short minutes having read this post,¬†to process what you have read! If you agree and only If you do… we need¬†your help! I’m asking that those parents & individuals who don’t have¬†a child on the spectrum as well as those who do (and anyone else who’s reading) takes just a few minutes to¬†help raise awareness for autism and aspergers, this “World Autism Awareness Day (2nd April 2012)

How?

Bloggers… with the power of your influential voice, your blogs can reach a 1000 voices or¬†more… Please Join me in creating awareness, by wearing something¬†that resembles the colours that make up the autism puzzle or something that resembles autism. Maybe wear¬†a T with the awareness ribbon or a puzzle piece displayed across your chest and back,¬†paint your face, design an eye mask, just let your creativity run¬†wild, then write on a large piece of card, “Doing it for World Autism¬†Day 2012” hold it up, where ever you’re at and take a photo… the¬†more funky and eye-catching the better! Post your picture to your blog¬†adding a few words if you wish, state you’re raising awareness for world¬†autism day and link your picture/post to the linky I’ll place on here on my blog!

You can tweet using hashtag #worldautism12 , post on the “A Boy with¬†Aspergers” Facebook page and share any other way that grabs you.

Please it’s just one day, a few minutes of your time which will¬†undoubtedly help spread awareness! I’m not asking you to raise money or¬†even go to work looking like a clown! Like many other families all¬†over the world, Its world autism day everyday in our house! I’m just¬†¬†asking you to make it yours on the 2nd April 2012 (if only for 10¬†minutes) your reward… you¬†will help create a better world for¬†children like my Little man.

Non Bloggers

There is simply no getting away from it! Simply do the above but¬†instead tweet your pictures using hash tag #worldautism12, Post them¬†on your own Facebook page and to make it count by posting them to “The Boy¬†with Aspergers” Facebook Page.

Those who can’t post anywhere, email them to me via address in sidebar¬†of this blog and I’d be happy to post them out there for the world to¬†see.

The final part of the plan

I will then hopefully have enough to create a collage of pictures of all those that¬†took part, whether they held their awareness board in Sidney, London or¬†New York, it will count.This can’t happen with a collection of one or two pictures!¬†We need a huge amount to pull it off!

I will open the Linky on my blog at 11.59 on the 31st of March.

Please feel free to click and save the art work below to use in sidebars or within post, please link back.Please stay tune as there may be a few exciting surprise on the way¬†too ūüôā

So… There you have it! My plea for your help¬†

Help me create the bigger picture, I can’t do it without you!

The Yummy Food Competition To Win a ¬£100 Amazon Voucher

21 Jan

Its competition time people and your chance to bag yourself a £100 amazon voucher (equivalent in dollars)

As, many of you know, here on the blog we host a fantastic ‚Äėautism and art‚Äô page, a place where children with autism and their siblings can showcase their creative flair.

We, love creative play in the ‚Äėboy with Aspergers‚Äô household and with three children, you will always find one with a crayon or glue stick in their hand.

This competition is all about creativity and its open to all those with a blog/website.

Appliances online have asked me to host this fabulous competition that is made up of two of life‚Äôs greatest pleasures…

…‚ÄúFood & Art‚ÄĚ

Encourage your children to get creative and draw their favourite food!

The child can be as creative as they desire, using just coloured pencils/pens or go all out and use some sparkle! It’s absolutely up to the little artist how they want to do it.

TIP
For the younger ones, why not draw the outline of a dinner plate giving them a template to fill with drawings of their favourite yummy foods.

Once done, simply take a picture of their yummy creation or scan the image onto your computer, upload it to your blog or website.

Next, you must state within your post, that you are sharing the picture as an entry into the Appliances online ‚ÄėYummy food competition‚Äô hosted on the ‚ÄúA boy with Aspergers‚ÄĚ blog. (IMPORTANT: Make sure you hyper link the word ‚ÄúAppliances online‚ÄĚ linking it to the following… http://www.appliancesonline.co.uk/cookers/cookers.aspx)

The very last step is to come back here and leave a comment leaving me the link to your published creation. This must be done in order to validate your entry!

The winner will be awarded with a £100 amazon voucher or the equivalent in dollars!
The yummy food competition will run from today (21st January 2012) in-till the 6th February 2012 with the winner being selected soon after.

So hurry…. You have two weeks to draw up a feast!

My Little princess Alice-Sara thinks this is the best competition mummy has ever hosted, only because she gets to draw you a few examples

Terms and conditions: Open to everyone with a blog/site. The only requirement is a link to our site with the child’s drawing, it can be a simple:
‚ÄúHere‚Äôs (name of child) entry into the HYPERLINK “http://www.appliancesonline.co.uk/cookers/cookers.aspx” Appliances Online Cookers Yummy food competition. In order to validate an entry you must leave the link to the post/picture in the comment section of this post and do so by the given date (above). The winner must contact within 72 hours of being announced. Postal/contact details will then be passed onto the PR for Appliances online who will send out the prize which will be to the value of ¬£100 or¬†equivalent in dollars.

Week one – Getting fit with Davina

12 Jan

Before I go any further, I must add that this post has no relevance to potty training, autism, the school run or anything else on such a scale! It’s simply about me, no one other than me! It’s me doing something for myself, something I feel I need do more of!

¬†Let me explain… Last week an email popped up in my inbox with some pretty exciting news! It was actually from those lovely people at the UK retailer ‘Next’ Informing me that I was one of the lucky ten bloggers chosen to test run the ‘Davina for Next’ workout & post workout range, while documenting my journey back to fitness!

¬†This my friends is god… It‚Äôs the big man in the sky giving me a much-needed kick up the backside!

 You see, I’ve always been a person who has loads of willpower, however, lately it’s flagging and although I know I want to get healthier and fitter (more the case, I need too) I’m just having issues finding my Mojo!

¬†For an ex dancer I‚Äôm slacking in the get up and go, which really isn’t great! ‘Next’ setting me this challenge to undertake has come at a perfect time, It means I‚Äôm forced to document my demons and therefore, face them!

 It’s also my hope that along the way, I will inspire other women to get up and join me.

¬†My first mission… to find lots of motivational tools! First we have the lovely ‘Davina for Next’ workout and post workout range, which I shared with you in a post I published at the end of December (Click here to read)

Next, invited me to select two items of clothing and a pair of their innovative footwear.

 It was a difficult decision but in the end I chose the lovely and extremely comfortable Davina Burnout T-shirt in black £18

 The Davina loose black joggers £25 (the word loose made me feel somewhat better )

 As for footwear my chosen shoe is yet to be delivered so, I’ll surprise you with these later on!

¬†Thankfully everything fits ūüôā and surprisingly there was no breathing in, still as lovely as these Items are, I‚Äôm hoping that in a few months time, they will no longer fit me, instead being too big in size (well, this is the plan)!

 The burnout Tee is comfortable, hangs well and in my opinion looks good and is great for workout or lounge wear.

 The joggers are also comfy which is what you want when you’re exercising.

 In addition to all the above, the items I choose look good, they don’t reveal my less pretty areas and I’d be more than happy to wear these down the gym (not that I’ve graced one for a while)

¬†So… I have my motivational workout wear, what else am I missing?

 A good dig through my CD collection unravelled some motivational dance albums! Every girl needs some good music to get her going!

 A rummage through the photo album unravelled the perfect motivational picture. This is me just 2 and a half years ago, before I fell pregnant with Harley!

Although I’m not massive now… a size 10-12, I’m not this toned!

GOD… I want my size 8 body back!

¬†The Picture is now the wall paper that graces my iPhone and the screen saver on my Mac… There is simply no escape!

 I also find myself pretty envious at the sight of Davina McCall flat washboard stomach! Maybe I should make her my screen saver too?

 Now, I just needed to work out where it is I’m going wrong, tough It don’t take a genius to figure it out!

 Eating at the wrong times

Skipping meals and snacking on crap

Drinking far too much Sugar-Free Redbull

Not enough sleep, leading to little motivation & psychical activity the following day.

¬†Ok… I‚Äôm pretty such I can fix 1-2 however, cutting out the Redbull is going to be a hard habit to kick! As for sleeping… when you’re 12-year-old on the autism spectrum doesn‚Äôt sleep, it becomes a little difficult to get a decent nights kip! Nonetheless, when he does sleep then I need to, instead of being this night owl who‚Äôs moody and unmotivated by day.

¬†I‚Äôll also be doing a lot to improve my physical fitness! With this I’ve decided to buy Davina‚Äôs New DVD as well as a gym ball, when I go shopping on Friday! I’ll also be walking more, dancing for an hour a day (yes, like I used too) and going swimming once or twice a week.

¬†I’ll also be getting some inspiration from Davina herself!

So, I’ve decided to try (1) I’ll take Harley for a long walk in the woods (4) Go dancing with friends (its been a while) (5) walk my mum’s dog or at least walk with her (7) Little man aged 12 attends boxing training so I’ll be asking to borrow his skipping rope.

For this one, I’m doing (1) 20 squats while doing the house work (how hard can it be right)? (4) 20 sit ups as soon as I rise from my pit (now this is one that will be a challenge)! (6) get a gym ball (after all sitting doesn’t sound to hard)! (7) 20 crunches before bed (8) work out to the ‘Davina DVD’, though this wont be on my return from work, more like following a day running after my 3 monsters (though to call it anything other than work is crazy)!

Well, the DVD workout and sitting on a gym ball, will have to wait till Friday but I’m on a mission to start the others from the minute I hit the publish button on this post!

So… good-bye junk food

My days of Luvin it are officially over!

With all these lifestyle changes ahead of me I’ve had an idea!

¬†The best way of sticking to something is to offer a reward at the end of it (No, apart from the body to die for)! So, ¬†if I hit all my targets at the end of this, I’m then going to reward myself this certificate for being the worlds sexiest mum! ūüôā

I would also be happy to reward those lovely ladies joining me (well, the ones that are mum’s that is)! So here they are..

  1. Jessie’s Crazy Kitchen
  2. Nadine – X
  3. Clairejustineoxox
  4. Super amazing mum
  5. Marisworld
  6. Snugglebubby
  7. Pret-a-Style
  8. Mummy Mummy Mum
  9. Mum of one

Now if that’s not an incentive ladies, I don’t know what is?

Get Your Skates On

10 Jan

¬†Just because my son has Aspergers Syndrome and special educational needs, it doesn‚Äôt mean he can‚Äôt do all the things your child can do! OK, a handful of those ‚ÄúThings‚ÄĚ are that bit more difficult, but he gets there all the same!

 Sometimes, I often find myself saying the above to Little man, a child who has lost confidence, through no fault of his own! This is a child who needs that push, a gentle reminder that everything is worth a try. 

 It’s not just the fact that Little man missed out on many trips and activities while attending mainstream school (though this has had a considerable impact) it’s also little man’s social and physical abilities that also play a part. 

 So, when I won tickets for a family trip to the Stratford City, Westfields outdoor ice rink, I knew Little man would struggle if but a little. 

¬†The great thing was that I actually bagged two lots of family tickets…well, 3 lots actually, all on different blogs that I read! I was delighted to discover I had won the first lot, then I was informed by yet another blogger, id won her competition too. This set I gave up for another lovely blogger and her family who had also entered, but then to discover from yet another blogger that I won a third time was absolutely great if not a little strange. With this revaluation, I decided to invite the neighbours along too.

¬†Both my older children, Little man and his sister Alice-Sara, are gone friends with the children next door (in all honesty one of the children is Little man‚Äôs one and only true friend) so, I hoped that this would make the whole experience of getting out on the ice, a little less daunting for the Little guy, and it did… eventually!

¬†Don‚Äôt get me wrong, there was no meltdowns, not one in fact (I know… shocking) it was more little man‚Äôs OT needs that posed a challenge! My son is what some would describe as a little clumsy, which is basically down to his gross motor skills! Yes, he can ride a bike, amazingly well in fact, but he often has a little trouble with his spatial awareness (knowing where his body is in space) his balance, can sometimes be a little off at times too. This impacted with the crowded ice rink would undoubtably pose a challenge, this I already knew.

 Yet, the fact he had his friends there and the sheer determination within him, saw him past the challenges that presented him, and as a result, I ended up a very proud mummy!

Above: All friends together on the Ice

¬†The staff at Westfields couldn‚Äôt have been more helpful, I didn‚Äôt notify them that a child with Special needs would be joining us (a group of 8 consisting of 2 adults and six children) but all the same I felt the staff went out of their way to help. There was one point when the little man started freaking out that his skates were not tight enough (he has this thing where shoes need doing up dead tightly, he states it’s so his feet have control of his shoes and not the other way around) Yes, it’s another OT thing)! The staff on the ice were amazing, rushing out to check he was OK and bending down on all fours to tighten his skates.¬†

 When we first stepped on to the ice, I noted how my daughter and her friends went whizzing of into the middle of the rink, as grateful as I am to have such a confident young daughter, I did feel some sadness for my Little man as he clung to the edge as if his whole life depended on it. He looked at me with fear in his eyes as he stated he just couldn’t do it! I continuously reassured him and bit by bit he came slowly away from the edge.

My daughter & friend first one of the first on the ice

Hanging on for dear lifeThinking about it!Off he goes

 I found my biggest confidence booster for the little guy was, once the rink filled with more and more people I happily pointed out that he wasn’t the only one clung to the edge of the rink (Seriously, it was mostly the full-grown men, hanging on for dear life). Little man, is like lots of children of his age, where he feel incredibly stupid if he struggles to do something that others are finding a breeze, therefore seeing all those grown ups looking like they were hanging from a cliff, seemed to stop him from giving up and making his way back in to redeem his comfortable trainers. (Yes, he tried suggest it once or twice.)

¬†We were on the ice around 45 minutes and despite his fear, he made it to the middle of the rink! To watch him skating with his friends and smiling having fun, has been the highlight to my year so far… all ten days of it!

Standing proudly with his friend at the centre of the rink

¬†So… what about me, did I fall on my arse? Nope! Though I almost did once or twice, I just about managed to stay on my feet.¬†

¬†I was convinced the skating finished at 6pm, though I was wrong, the last session actually started at 6 pm, meaning the skating didn‚Äôt end till 7 pm. With this I gave in defeat and left the Little man and Alice Sara with their friends and their mother (my lovely neighbour) while I headed off to collect my comfortable flat shoes and off it for a sneaky fag ūüôā

¬†Little man was having a blast and now didn‚Äôt want to leave. I decided to sit out and just watch for the last hour (my excuse was that I was now a photographer, or at least trying to be)! Though I really shouldn‚Äôt admit this, sitting on the sidelines gave me a good opportunity to view some classic skating fails! Wow… Seriously, though I see a couple of women hit the deck, and of course a good number of children (my own included) I have never seen so many men fall over in one place in my whole entire life.And Oops a daisy

¬†How can you not laugh, there were some classics. Plenty of men, one or two rather dishy I must add, skating around on their butts rather than their skates! Did I feel guilty for laughing so much that my sides were sores? No… not really, they all seemed to see the funny of things, eventually!

¬†All in all… we had a brilliant time which was all down to them fabulous blogs that ran the competitions, (thank you Essex mum¬†,¬†Madhouse reviews¬†& Emma and three) as well as those who took care of our needs at the skating rink.Alice & FriendOne of the Little man’s friends from next door

 Essex mummy (one of the bloggers I won tickets from) has asked me if I fancy doing a guest post reviewing our experience, we had such a fabulous time it would be rude to decline (so, do keep an eye out for that). 

 For those interested, the rink is now closed but will return again next year for the festive season. We went on the last day before it packed up for the year and considering I thought that I had Christmas well and truly out my system, the festive christmas tunes and chilly ice made it feel like Christmas Eve again. I think January is a brilliant time to go, and I would highly recommend the Stratford City Westfields Outdoor Ice rink.

¬†Oh… and Little man? He now wants roller-blades!¬†

Little man set to break world records

21 Feb

I have one question for you all… Are you a spot or a stripe?

I guess your wondering what the hell I’m banging on about!

This is what I thought when little man asked me that very same question!

Well, let me explain.

Cadburys (you know that awesome company that make lush chocolate treats) are the official treat provider for the London 2012 Olympic games. Being Cadburys and doing nothing by halfs they have created the spots v stripes campaign in the run up to the big games.

The campaign aims to get the nation playing games.
By becoming a spot or a stripe (I’m a spot) you can compete against the otherside to gain points.

This is done by playing a number of games online, via video, at home, work, school or anywhere else you fancy.
It really is up to you where and what you play. You can create your own games and events and grab ideas online… How about thumb wrestling, creme egg dares, sack racing or even better dancing. Go online and play against the otherside or join in at one off the spots v stripes touring events that could be happening somewhere near you… It’s that easy.

So, Cadburys over all aim is to create Britains biggest and longest game, and I must say they don’t seem to be doing a bad job of it so far

Well, my Little man is a stripe and often visits the website where he adds his points and checks out who’s winning (spots or stripes) he has been eagerly awaiting the launch of the Cadburys race season which starts today and I will expand on this in just a bit! He has made me promise to take him to the next london event at Westfields London on the 16th and 17th of April and has this tendency to approach random people on the bus, shops or everywhere else we maybe… asking them, “excuse me, are you a spot or a stripe?”

So as to enjoy the campaign alongside my Little dude, I decided to get involved by becoming a spot, then as if by magic I was lucky enough to be invited along to the bloggers only event in London to promote race season.

Race season will run for a number of weeks thoughout spring, it will have nine different races that you can take part in via video (uploading your race to utube spots vs stripes) the website or attending an event.

What’s even more exciting (just ask little man) is the fact that you have the chance to set a new world record and even be included in the official Guinnes world records.

The bloggers event was excellent. I can’t remember the last time I had such fun making a bed while getting tipsy on white wine and trying to set a new world record “we were so close”

Race season is all about doing everyday things at speed… the nine races include… Bed making, Tea making (don’t be fooled this isn’t your normal tea making), toilet roller, doodler and little mans faviorite one of all… coin stacking.

The event was held at phd London. A group of bloggers came together to test out the 9 race challenges while enjoying the yummy food provided and the free bar…Oh and let’s not forget the bowls of Cadburys chocolates… Mmmm ūüôā

Are you jealous yet?

It was quite comical to watch a load of full grown adults throwing tea bags into cups after having had a few beers or glasses of wine… I have to say I found bed making at speed very entertaining to watch and was grining like the cat that got the dairy milk when me and my close friend who was my guest for the evening teamed up and came a very respectable and praiseworthly second, which isn’t bad given ive always stated that bed making isn’t one of my strong points to the family *cheeky giggle*

While we all made drunken tits of ourselves while being filmed trying to achieve a world record (yes you did hear correctly, I did say filmed!) this was no joke for some as one of the guest was actually the current world record holder for tea making, or should I say tea bag throwing! This chap was determined to hold on to his record… which he actually managed (well for that night atleast) bagging himself a ¬£100 john lewis voucher… The lucky bugger!

Everything was above board as all games were filmed and observed by a number of official adjudicators ensuring us bloggers stuck to the rules and no funny business had gone on.

This was a seriously entertaining evening, one i’m sure not to forget in a hurry. I felt like a kid again and found it a great way to let go off all the stresses of these past few months just by being silly.

At the end of the night we were given a goody bag containing some lovely makeup (of course the guys got a suitable alternative substitute) along with other treats and tons of yummy race bars… The new Cadburys treat bar to promote race season. We also got this gaint addict ball (a big clear ball that looked like some kid of maze inside it) Its one of those things that requires you to be a logical thinker with great non verbal reasoning skills (which isn’t me but without question little man) The ball also claims to help improve hand & eye coordination, patience & dexterity as well as fine motor skills. Of course I told little man and his sister they must share it (Little man agreed with much reluctance but has been lucky as little sister isn’t that interested after all)

The big race is officially launching today and is on tour across the UK from march, So be sure to join in.

I’m glad I went along to this fantabulous event, as now I can help little man try and set some world records and encourge his little sister to join in too.

However coin stacking and toilet rolling wasn’t what I had in mind! As it’s all about doing everyday task at speed I created some of my own records for them to set.

The first has already been achived on a daily basis.. “Messing the house up in speed, following mum having just cleaned up”

The others I’ve created are as follows: Who can get their little butt to bed fastest, the quickest bedroom cleaner, fastest dresser for school of a morning, and the biggest record and hardest record … who can do what they have been told the quickest, without any back chat.

Splendid ideas, but somehow the odds of dedication and over all achievement are looking a little slim… I don’t think little man nor his sister are going to be to impressed with my challenges.

As I write this my Little man is sat at the table stacking two pence pieces but sadly keeps knocking them down with his left arm which is meant be be kept under the table!!!

Somehow I think it’s gonna be a long, long night!

For more info visit the spots vs stripes official website
spots vs stripes

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